Contradictions between “Communist Identity” and “Social-democratic Identity” on the 18th IMCWP...

On the 28th to the 30th October 2016 there was the 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties in Hanoi, Vietnam. Ideological and political contradictions between parties stilll holdig to a “Communist Identity” (type Third International) and parties who are more and more flirting wiht a “Social-democratic Identity” (type Second International) are appearing more than ever....

Appeal of the 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties

The 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held on the 28-30 of October 2016 in Hanoi, the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, under the theme “Capitalist crisis and imperialist offensive - Strategy and tactics of the Communist and Workers’ Parties in struggle for peace, workers’ and peoples’ rights, socialism”,

Having discussed the world situation and the growing challenges faced by humanity, nations, workers and peoples of many countries, particularly the worsening socio-economic and environmental crises, the increasing insecurity and instability in many parts of the world, caused by capitalism, deepened capitalist crisis, imperialist interventions. interference and machinations, fostering the emergence of so-called ‘ISIS' and other extremist criminal forces, as well as refugee crises;
Stressing that socialism is the only real alternative to the on-going economic, social and ecological crises, to capitalist exploitation and barbarity;
Saluting the struggles of the people and workers in all parts of the world against capitalism and imperialist offensive, for labor, social and democratic rights,gender equality, national independence and sovereignty, peace and socialism; (...)
Calls upon Communist and Workers Parties to develop common and convergent actions along the following axis:
- Intensifying theoretical and practical works and exchanges on building socialism in the 21st Century;
- Working together towards the joint commemoration of 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution to highlight its historical significance in paving the way for a new period in human history, the contribution of socialism to advance the struggle of workers and peoples for their emancipation, and the need to strengthen the struggle for peace, social progresses and socialism; organizing diverse related activities;
- Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the publication of "Das Capital" by Karl Marx;
- Promoting exchange of strategies, tactics and experiences to strengthen the fight against all forms of capitalist ideological and political imposition and offensive, to strengthen communists and workers parties and to enhance mobilisation of the working people and wider masses, particularly youth, students and women,in the anti-imperialist struggles, for labor, social, trade union and democratic rights, and socialism; (...)
- Broadening the anti-imperialist front to enhance the struggle for peace,against imperialist occupation, interventions and interference into internal affairs of other countries, against NATO and its expansion, against nuclear weapons, militarization and foreign military bases,for the peaceful and just settlement of all conflicts based on the principles of International Law;1
Read how the WPB formulated her contribution – as reaction on the appeal here above - on the points “Defending workers' rights, opposing capitalism and militarism, building forces for socialism” ; Defending workers' rights; Opposing militarism and NATO ; Blocking trade agreements; Building forces for real change, socialism
Marion Franssen who represented the WPB, spoke on the 18th IMCWP:

18 IMCWP, Contribution of WP of Belgium

Defending workers' rights, opposing capitalism and militarism, building forces for socialism
(S)ome insides about the way the PTB is trying to develop the class struggle in Belgium via some concrete political struggles. All this in a context wherein the capitalist crisis is expanding and imperialist wars and acts of terrorism continue to put at risk the lives of people around the world.
Defending workers' rights
(....) Since 2008 the structural crisis of overproduction is deepening and spreading further every day. The EU framework of austerity can in no possible way get us out of the crisis. The working class is getting poorer and a growing part of the wealth they produce goes directly to the bank accounts of shareholders. (...)(T)he PTB is doing all its best to help to build an organized answer to these challenges, side by side with the trade unions and social movements. To defend the workers' and peoples rights and to be able to put offensive demands on the table, the unity of the working class in our country is essential. This implies a unity between the unions with different political background, unity between unions in the private and public sectors, among unions in the different regions in our country and between the organized working class and the social movements. This orientation we defend during demonstrations, picket-line visits and media performances. At the same time we challenge people to join the actions to build a large movement against the austerity measures imposed on them.
Opposing militarism and NATO
Belgium is hosting the political and military headquarters of NATO. For the Belgian government NATO is “central in Belgium's efforts for peace”. Belgium is active in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. It serves the interests of US imperialism but is also actively participating in the “Common Security and Defense Policy” of the European Union and the implementation of the EU battle-groups. The United Nations comes third in line only. The control of energy supplies, transportation lines and markets to invest in to keep profits high, are the main objective of their military spending. And spending is what Belgium is planning to do. (...) in line with the NATO demand to allocate 2% of the Gross National Product to military spending. (...) It will undermine the state budget for many years to come.
This situation creates big challenges for the peace movement in Belgium while the era of humanitarian interventions has an important ideological influence among progressive forces.
At the same time the combination of austerity measures and the investment in military equipment is an opportunity to mend a new alliance between the peace movement and the working class. Without this alliance it will not be possible to push back the government decisions, leave alone to develop a peace policy. The party, as a member of the peace movement, tries to argue in this direction and to connect both struggles together.
In 2017 special attention will go the NATO summit that will take place in Belgium. The peace movement is working hard to unify all forces against NATO in Belgium and abroad, in order to debunk the war agenda of NATO and its member states.
Blocking trade agreements
For several years a Europe-wide network is active against the signing of the free trade agreements CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada) and TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – between the EU and the US). (...). Both agreements help to reinforce the position of the EU, the US and Canada on the world market in competition with Japan and the emerging countries.(...) The proposed agreement is another tool to secure profit for the capital class. That's why the PTB is actively participating in the peoples' movements. We defend the complete rejection of the agreement and don't want to leave the space to the tendencies that only want to adapt some points in the agreement to secure the core of it.(...) We participated actively in the mass demonstrations, published several articles, we are writing a book, declared our solidarity festival ManiFiesta CETA free, introduced resolutions in municipalities to make them CETA free and intervened actively in the different parliaments. Because of this it is harder for the social-democratic head of the Walloon government to give in to easy. He is afraid our party would grow further. (...)
Building forces for real change, socialism
Our growing visibility in the media because of the first 8 parliament members (2 federal, 6 regional) we have ever, creates big expectations within a growing group among the working class. It is an important challenge to our representatives not to loose contact with the reality of the working people while in parliament. Street-council-street is the principle applied by them. They bring the struggles of the working people in parliament and go back to the people after the debate to inform them. Applying strict financial rules is another means to keep checks and balances right. All cadres and parliament members live with an average workers wage. This is much appreciated by the working class.(...) Our presence in parliament gives us an extra tool to reach out to many people and to get them involved in the popular movements that struggle for their rights. It's only through the experience of struggle that the masses learn about the real character of the system that has nothing to offer them. In all these struggles it's the parties first task to build its own strength via a process of sensitizing, organizing and mobilizing the many workers, women en youth we fight together with.
We have to take every opportunity to learn from the working class. But we also have to educate them that our history is build primarily through social struggle. In all the struggles the working class is waging, our party is active and tries to bring the struggles together for a real change of society, for socialism.2

Did Mario Franssen, member of the Central committee, ever followed the course of candidate-membership?
Well, in earlier times a contribution like that here above, made by another party (or as an “analysis” of a member or cadre), would be “labelled”, and so criticised, as “economist”.... One of the books which a candidate-member had to study was “HISTORY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION ( BOLSHEVIKS )”- Short Course. EDITED BY A COMMISSION OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE C.P.S.U. (B.) AUTHORIZED BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE C.P.S.U. (B.)” Every candidate-member once read,studied or got formation about, at least, the following paragraphs ....where the characteristics of “Economism” are given, which can be applied on the “analysis” here above:

The “Economists” (....) asserted that (..)The primary and immediate aim of the Social-Democrats should therefore be (...), the organization of the “economic struggle of the workers against the employers and the government.” By the economic struggle against the government they meant a struggle for better factory legislation. The “Economists” claimed that in this way it would be possible “to lend the economic struggle itself a political character.”
The “Economists” no longer dared openly to contest the need for a political party of the working class. But they considered that it should not be the guiding force of the working-class movement, that it should not interfere in the spontaneous movement of the working class, let alone direct it, but that it should follow in the wake of this movement, study it and draw lessons from it.
The “Economists” furthermore asserted that the role of the conscious element in the working-class movement, the organizing and directing role of Socialist consciousness and Socialist theory, was insignificant, or almost insignificant; that the Social-Democrats should not elevate the minds of the workers to the level of Socialist consciousness, but, on the contrary, should adjust themselves and descend to the level of the average, or even of the more backward sections of the working class, and that the Social-Democrats should not try to impart a Socialist consciousness to the working class, but should wait until the spontaneous movement of the working class arrived of itself at a Socialist consciousness.
1) Lenin showed that to divert the working class from the general political struggle against tsardom and to confine its task to that of the economic struggle against the employers and the government, while leaving both employers and government intact, meant to condemn the workers to eternal slavery. The economic struggle of the workers against the employers and the government was a trade union struggle for better terms in the sale of their labour power to the capitalists. The workers, however, wanted to fight not only for better terms in the sale of their labour power to the capitalists, but also for the abolition of the capitalist system itself which condemned them to sell their labour power to the capitalists and to suffer exploitation.(...)
2) Lenin showed that to extol the spontaneous process in the working-class movement, to deny that the Party had a leading role to play, to reduce its role to that of a recorder of events, meant to preach khvostism (following in the tail), to preach the conversion of the Party into a tall-piece of the spontaneous process, into a passive force of the movement, capable only of contemplating the spontaneous process and allowing events to take their own course. To advocate this meant working for the destruction of the Party, that is, leaving the working class without a party—that is, leaving the working class unarmed.(....)
3) Lenin showed that to bow in worship of the spontaneous workingclass movement and to belittle the importance of consciousness, of Socialist consciousness and Socialist theory, meant, in the first place, to insult the workers, who were drawn to consciousness as to light; in the second place, to lower the value of theory in the eyes of the Party, that is, to depreciate the instrument which helped the Party to understand the present and foresee the future; and, in the third place, it meant to sink completely and irrevocably into the bog of opportunism.
“Without a revolutionary theory,” Lenin said, “there can be no revolutionary movement. . . . The role of vanguard can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory.” (Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. II, pp. 47, 48.)
4) Lenin showed that the “Economists” were deceiving the working class when they asserted that a Socialist ideology could arise from the spontaneous movement of the working class, for in reality the Socialist ideology arises not from the spontaneous movement, but from science.
By denying the necessity of imparting a Socialist consciousness to the working class, the “Economists” were clearing the way for bourgeois ideology, facilitating its introduction and dissemination among the working class, and, consequently, they were burying the idea of union between the working-class movement and Socialism, thus helping the bourgeoisie.3

In “State and Revolution” (a book normally ALSO to be studied, during the candidate-membership-period) Lenin quotes Marx .... (and the WPB still claims to be a Marxist party - although no longer “communist”...?) But I wonder if Mario Franssen followed such a candidate-membership-course... He was a cadre-engineer in a building company and was asked by Bert Belders, being ALSO a national WPB-cadre for at least 20years, to lead the, new-founded NGO “INTAL” (read her the vision of INTAL, in French,.... you see NOT ANY anti-imperialism!)... Mario later was “co-opted” in the national leadership of the party (in the “international department”)... and now replacing Boudewijn Deckers and later on Bert De Belder on the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties (IMCWP)...:

". . . And now as to myself, no credit is due to me for discovering the existence of classes in modern society, nor yet the struggle between them. Long before me bourgeois historians had described the historical development of this struggle of the classes and bourgeois economists the economic anatomy of the classes. What I did that was new was to prove: 1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with particular historical phases in the development of production [historische Entwicklung sphasen der Produktion ]; 2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat; 3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society. . . ."4

There is a big (QUALITATIVE) difference in political and ideological point of view, ...and use of the Marxist analysing method with for example the contribution of the KKE. In her contribution critic is included on opportunism (without mentioning the WPB specifically....):

Contribution of CP of Greece
The history of the communist movement is full of heroic pages and is a valuable source for study and the drawing of conclusions that will lend strength to the communists so that they can meet the challenge of the complex conditions of the class struggle, fighting for the overthrow of capitalist exploitation and the construction of socialism-communism.(....)
Bourgeois and opportunist forces are silent about the real causes of the crisis and present other factors as being the causes e.g. neoliberal management, the banks and bankers. This causes confusion and fosters illusions about the potential for a pro-people management of capitalism.
The reality is that regardless of whether the form of the crisis' outbreak is connected to disturbances in the banking-financial system, to "bubbles" and other similar phenomena, the crisis is born in the productive process on the terrain of the exploitation of wage labour by capital. (...)
In these complex conditions, the analysis of the communists about the real causes of the crisis as well as the class character of capitalist growth acquire great importance for the preparation of the labour-people's movement and the strengthening of the class struggle, so that the importance of the socialist organization of production is understood by the working class, which is the only way to eradicate the causes of the crisis and capitalist exploitation. (....)
It has been demonstrated by the example of SYRIZA and many other examples that the so-called "left governments" are an apparatus for the management and reproduction of capitalist exploitation, foster illusions about the humanization of capitalism and a dangerous expectation that the people's problems can be resolved, the people's needs can be satisfied in the conditions of capitalist exploitation. Experience demonstrates that these governments impede the real radicalism of the working class. (...)
Views (inside the international communist movement) that underestimate the antimonopoly-anticapitalist line of struggle and the necessity for comprehensive preparation for the overthrow of capital do not take into account the potential for the developments to sharpen and for a revolutionary situation to manifest itself, which as an objective phenomenon that can be created in the conditions of capitalist crisis and imperialist war.
We must learn from the historical experience which demonstrated that CPs found themselves unprepared for the conditions of the escalation of the class struggle and could not fulfil their historic tasks. (...)
(T)he situation in the international communist movement has deteriorated.
In these conditions, the struggle for the regroupment of the international communist movement is a decisively important task and the KKE considers it necessary for a discussion to be initiated about the serious problems of strategy-tactics, assessing that every delay worsens the situation and poses serious dangers.
First, the issue of imperialism must be engaged with by the communists, as it is a point of more general discussion.
The Leninist position refers to the fact that imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism, in the context of which the dominance of the monopolies and finance capital has been formed and the export of capital has acquired particular importance. In this framework there is a struggle between the various monopolies and capitalist states over the division of the markets.
The position that limits imperialism to the aggressive foreign policy of the USA or other powerful capitalist states does not take into account the economic base of the system in our period, the monopolies, the large stock companies that have developed and are developing in all countries.
We believe that this position cannot see the imperialist (capitalist) system in all its dimensions. The capitalist states are its links, which have differences amongst them due to uneven development and each one has a different position in the system, with relations of unequal interdependence in line with their economic, military and political strength. (...)
Fifth, the KKE in the framework of its long study concerning the analysis of the causes and factors that led to the overthrow of socialism assessed that the counterrevolution in the USSR came "from within and from above" as a result of the opportunist mutation of the CP and the corresponding political direction of Soviet power, in an environment of multifaceted interventions by imperialism, leading to the development of opportunism and its development into a counterrevolutionary force.
The overthrow of socialism was connected to the use of capitalist tools in order to deal with problems of socialist construction.
Socialist construction begins with the revolutionary conquest of power by the working class and the communist mode of production is created through the socialization of the concentrated means of production, central planning, the formation of institutions of workers' control.
The class struggle of the working class continues in other conditions and with other forms both in the period when the foundations of the new society are being laid and during the development of socialism, in a constant struggle to eradicate every form of group and private ownership, to extend social ownership and to strengthen central planning, communist relations of production.
It is our unshakable conviction that positions that talk about various "models of socialism" in the name of national specificities do not operate within the framework of the principles of scientific socialism and the laws of socialist construction.
Unfortunately, this is not just related to the petty bourgeois/social-democratic framework of the so-called 21st century Socialism, which fosters illusions about the humanization of capitalism and perpetuates bourgeois power and capitalist exploitation, as is demonstrated by the developments,e.g., in Latin America.
The problem is deeper.
There is an attempt to replace the necessity of the socialist revolution with the bourgeois parliamentary road, with the vehicle of the management of “leftwing governments». A mixed economic system with capitalist businesses replaces the socialization of the means of production. The state intervention to regulate the capitalist market replaces central planning.(....)
The Great October Socialist Revolution is a historic milestone, a magnificent creation of the working class, of the class struggle.
The socialism that was constructed in the 20th century, despite the weaknesses, mistakes, opportunist influences and deviations, is characterized by the historical achievement of the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, thanks to workers' power, the socialization of the means of production, central planning and workers' control, the participation of millions of workers in the construction of the new society. (...)
Workers' power in the Soviet Union and the sacrifices of the Soviet people made their mark on the victory against the fascist axis in the 2nd World War.
The historical contribution of socialism to social progress, as well as the study of the real causes that led to its overthrow must motivate the CPs, the communists all over the world in order to raise the level of demands and to decisively answer the forces of anticommunist reaction and opportunism that applauded and supported the counterrevolution, as did forces that later founded the Party of the European Left (PEL) and other similar networks.
The communists believe in the strength of the working class, in the class struggle which is the motor force of social development and the international character of the class struggle requires that we make the greatest possible efforts and to form the bases to acquire programmatic-ideological unity and a unified revolutionary strategy in conflict with capital and the system of exploitation.(...)
The KKE with a sense of internationalist responsibility played a leading role for the beginning of the International Meetings of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP), contributed and contributes to maintaining its character as a meeting place for CPs in opposition to positions that aim at the participation of social-democratic formations which are labelled as being "anti-imperialist", "left", "progressive" forces. (...)
The KKE will devote all its forces in this direction and at the same time will continue together with dozens of other CPs the efforts to coordinate their activity with many forms, in Europe, in the Balkans, in the wider region and will support even further the serious step that has been taken with the formation of the "European Communist Initiative", where a significant number of Communist and Workers parties of Europe participate and the publication of the journal "International Communist Review" (ICR) which studies contemporary theoretical issues.5

Contradiction are rising within the IMCWP's:
"The KKE with a sense of internationalist responsibility played a leading role for the beginning of the International Meetings of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP), contributed and contributes to maintaining its character as a meeting place for CPs in opposition to positions that aim at the participation of social-democratic formations which are labelled as being "anti-imperialist", "left", "progressive" forces." ..... Which is clearly AGAINST parties as the PVDA/PTB/WPB!
"The KKE (...) will support even further the serious step that has been taken with the formation of the "European Communist Initiative", where a significant number of Communist and Workers parties of Europe participate and the publication of the journal "International Communist Review" (ICR) which studies contemporary theoretical issues." ... The PVDA/PTB/WPB REFUSES to participate with the ECI... but enter the ranks of the REFORMIST "European Left" and STOPPED cooperation with the ICR.
Within the ranks of the IMCWP's there are certainly other CP's who are aware of these contradictions ( For example the contradiction between developing a revolutionary strategy and organising a van-guard-party and mass-struggle-organisations LEAD by that van-guard-party, in line with this strategy ...and developing a “strategy” based on the propagation of “reforms and organising the people in order to obtain better result in ...elections)

18 IMCWP, Contribution of Hungarian WP [En] - Gyula Thürmer, President of the Hungarian Workers’ Party
The Hungarian Workers’ Party considers socialism a social system where the political power is in the hands of the working masses, where the majority of means of production belongs to the working people and where planning economy exists instead of market economy.
We have our negative experiences how far we can go in applying the methods of capitalism. We always share these negative experience with other parties. But we think that we should be open to any new ideas and each party should decide itself how to construct socialism. (...)
We are convinced: the communist movement should be prepared for the moment when class conflicts are strengthened and the fight against capitalism turns into a face-to-face class war.
We should agree on the main point: our aim is not to manage capitalism. Our aim is not to save capitalism but to overthrow capitalism. That’s why we are communists.
We should see the difference between modernization of our policy, language, methods and the reformist reorientation of our movement. We need modernization but we are against reformism.
We should see that reformist ideas and even clear reformism is present in our movement. Fortunately, it is not dominant. We should fight against the wolf in sheep’s clothing to save the ideological-political and organizational independence of the communist parties.
We should save and develop our cooperation. The fact that we have now our 18th international meeting clearly demonstrates that our movement exists and we want to rise our influence on world affairs.
We recommend to organize special forums to discuss such living issues like party-building, formation of young communists, new methods of Internet work.6

...and here out of the contribution of the Russian Communist Worker's Party (RCWP) on the 18th IMCWP:

Theses of the report at the 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties held on the 28-30 of October 2016 in Hanoi, under the theme “Capitalist crisis and imperialist offensive - Strategy and tactics of the Communist and Workers’ Parties in struggle for peace, workers’ and peoples’ rights, socialism”, October 28-29, 2016.
In 2017 there will be centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution .(...) The best way for communists to mark this anniversary would be to review and reconsider honestly the fate of their movement in the last century. We should start with the recognition of the fact that communists didn’t always win in their struggle for masses, and that they have been defeated by counterrevolution by this day. We should answer the questions who or what has won, why we were defeated. Was this defeat the final and irreversible event or is this a temporary defeat and the struggle will go on? To put it brief: we should make conclusions from our mistakes. It’s not for nothing that Lenin said “Nothing can destroy us apart from our own mistakes.
If we consider modern communist movement as a whole we’ll have to confess that the lessons haven't been learnt. We are of the opinion that nowadays opportunism and revisionism have turned from an internal product of communist movement, from a set of biases and errors into a powerful weapon in the hands of Imperialism. The right bias hasn’t gone away with Gorbachev and the destruction of USSR and CPSU in 1991
(T)here has been taking place the adaptation of the parties to the system of Capitalism while presenting themselves as parliamentary defenders of people’s rights.
This right-wing transformation of communist parties leads to removal of masses from real political participation. Their role is thus limited to the functions of electorate who give their votes to party leaders in the course of elections. Strategy of victory by such opportunistic party reads as follows: they promise working people a success achieved in the course of coming election, whereas political struggle of masses is limited to the struggle for “honest” elections. Such focusing on parliamentary activities only is well remunerated by governments. One of the most typical examples of this occurrence is represented by European Left. These parties don’t recognize any extra-parliamentary forms of struggle, or pay them lip service only while actually hampering them.
We cannot say that there is such thing as the unity of modern communist movement worldwide. One could start with our inability to adopt a joint statement – so great are the differences. (...)
In the draft program prepared for the II Congress of RSDRP the aims of socialist production were described as “planned organization of social production process aimed at satisfaction of the needs both of whole society as well as of individual needs”. V.I. Lenin objected to such wording: “it’s not accurate. Such satisfaction can be provided by capitalism as well, the difference is that is not granted to all members of society and is not equal”. In the end of the day Lenin managed to change the draft program in the following way: “social revolution of proletariat will destroy the class division of society and liberate the whole oppressed mankind by way of replacing private property for means of production and turnover by the socialized one and introducing planned production process in order to ensure wellbeing and versatile development of all members of society.
Nowadays People’s Republic of China has the second largest number of billionaires in the world whereas Russia is the third. I think that both countries are equally far from the classless society – from communism.
(T)he experience of Soviets should be studied and used by all parties. Soviets are the most adequate form of realization of people’s power, organizational form of proletarian dictatorship. The main point is the participation of working masses in the struggle. Initially this should be the issue of taking power, later under Socialism this is their participation in performing the dictatorship of proletariat. Lenin saw it as a universal participation in the control over state… Soviet power is built on the basis of industries – based on plants and factories.
We, RCWP are going to celebrate the centennial anniversary of October Revolution by seeking new ways to develop the struggle. We’ll invite these parties that hasn’t used up their limits for revolutions, that extend their recognition of class struggle up to the recognition of proletarian dictatorship and whose practical activities are based upon workers movement. We in Russia have been attempting the tactics of creating Workers Front.
We see our task in preserving the Marxist-Leninist part of political theory and practice for the sake of future of communist movement that nobody will be able to extinguish.7

The same RCWP could appreciate the analyses made by Ludo Martens (former president of the WPB). I translated (with google) on her web-site:

The way of the worldrevolution in the XXIth century -an the 8Oth anniversary of the Octoberrevolution
Date: 2015/08/03
The editor: we begin a series of publications in the preparation of the birthday of the Big Socialist Octoberrevolution. In these series we will highlight the theoretical work of prominent persons of the international communist movement.

Today we publicise the rapport of the president of the Workers Party of Belgium (WPB), Ludo Martens (who died recently) on the International Jubilee Conference of the communist and workers-parties about the lessons for these parties 80 years after the Big Socialist Octoberrevolution. (The conference was held in Leningrad, 04-6 November 1997). This rapport was published in a special edition of the international theoretical magazine “Marxism and Modern Times” in 19978

And somewhere further was said:
It should be noted that in the early 1990s speeches in defense of Stalin and in support of the DPRK demanded considerable courage, both in the West and in Russia, just as they do now. On the 80th anniversary of the October revolution Ludo Martens made a presentation at the international conference of Communist and Workers ‘ Parties in Leningrad (http://rkrp-rpk.ru/content/view/13209/1/), published in the special issue of the magazine “Marxism and Modern Times” (November 1997, p. 41 -45), which concluded that the development of opportunism and revisionism in the Communist movement, a departure from the principles of Marx and Lenin,  which Stalin was able to defend so brilliantly and bring to life, became the main cause of the counterrevolution in the USSR and Eastern Europe and the temporary retreat of the world revolution.

The same organisation (RCWP) which was so appreciating the analyses of Ludo Martens, was discovering a development of revisionism in the WPB AFTER the death of Ludo Martens. Out of an analysis of the development of revisionism in the WPB/PTB:

Interesting and revealing is also the fact that a noticeable bias to the right of the current leadership of PTB manifested itself also in the organization of International Communist Seminar (ICS) in Brussels. Its organizers from the PTB suddenly began to demand from participants that they do not allow specific and targeted criticism of the opportunist characteristics of a number of parties who participated in the work of the ISS. They said that we should criticize opportunism as a phenomenon in general, without specifying the parties. And that’s when we all know that the obligatory criticism of opportunistic phenomena inside the Communist movement and the ideological struggle against opportunist parties is one of the cornerstones of Marxism-Leninism.
Lenin warned in his famous work “Imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism”: “The most dangerous in this respect, are people who refuse to understand that the struggle against imperialism, if it is not connected inseparably with the struggle against opportunism, is an empty and false phrase”. (V. I. Lenin. Collected Works, vol. 27, p. 424). (...)
The Soviet Communists who led the struggle against Gorbachev and his policy of perestroika – as a change of the political system – within the CPSU are very familiar with such situation and understand it perfectly well. How to explain this? Probably the party members lacked Marxist literacy and strength of the convictions to counter this convenient rolling. And accordingly, these issues were given insufficient attention under the previous leadership. As a result, the PTB got seriously ill. The Communists remaining on their revolutionary Marxist positions, which were consistently upheld by Ludo Martens, are now subjected to repression and expulsion. To untie its hands, the party leadership even began to change the Charter, enabling it to exclude comrades from the party without any democratic procedures. Now the party leadership can simply “not renew membership in the party of” of the undesirable Communists. Consider this degeneration of the party an important and instructive lesson for all revolutionary Marxist parties.
In conclusion, we should state that we remember the glorious militant traditions of the Belgian Communists, their strong reliance on the working class. So we hope that Belgian comrades will overcome the revisionist trend and will be able to rejoin the ranks of the “orthodox,” revolutionary Communist parties.

Analytical Group of the Ideological Commission of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Workers Party (RKRP)9

I have to admit that other parties are (until now) taking a more “mediated” position in these contradictions, such as the German CP (DKP)

18 IMCWP, Contribution of German CP [En] Wednesday, 09 November 2016
Regarding the EU, our position is that it is correct to go on fighting for political achievements, but not to believe in a general reformability of the EU. Generally spoken, reforms have a double character as we all know: on the one hand they can improve some living conditions of the people, but on the other hand just those victories could make the people believe in the „good sides“ of the capitalist system.
So it is important to sharpen the class consciousness of the exploited. This means to show them that reforms never can be sufficient, because of their limited. Regarding the reformability of the European Union we state that Europe needs a new cooperation including all European states, without the dominance of some imperialist countries which is the case of the EU. Europe does not need a European Union as a capitalist construction guided by imperialist ideas and practice. The EU never could play an active role for a world with equal possibilities for the people – this is only achievable with socialist principles. (...)
The German Communist Party has recently released a so called „programme of immediate demands“. It contains demands against curtailing of social and democratic rights, investment in public property, new jobs, improvement of social benefits, taxation of the rich. And in that programme we explain that our „refugee welcome“ isn’t merely humanitarian, but it means that we will fight together with them, for equal rights for all working class people. (...)
(W)e continue with our annual 4-party-conferences with the Workers’ Party of Belgium, the Communist Party of Luxemburg and the New Communist Party of the Netherlands, since 2006. (..)(A)lthough the analysis maintains correct that the CPs and WPs in capitalist countries have to fight first of all against their „own bourgeoisie“, the globalization sometimes brought very similar problems in neighbouring countries that require a common answer of the working classes in those countries.10
There are indications that INTERNAL there are serious discussion about these contradictions... As for example the WPB is in STRONGER relations with the “European Left Party,.....while the DKP has “ENDED her observer-status” on the ELP ... And the last report of a “possible” ANNUAL 4 party conference exist only in the form of a joint declaration of 28th July 2014, “Declaration on Ukraine by NCPN, KPL, PTB and DKP“ 

Bert De Belder FORBID Mario Franssen to sign the solidarity-declaration of the 18th IMCWP with North Korea - but APPEALED in 1997 to sign a declaration .... for solidarity - ...with North Korea

In 1997 on the sixth International Communist Seminar Bert De Belder declared in the name of the leadership of the WPB - then still lead by Ludo Martens:

United, communists will never be defeated!

Common action needed against the onslaughts of imperialism

From May 2-4, the sixth International Seminar for the unification of the International Communist Movement was held in Brussels, on the initiative of the Workers' Party of Belgium. The theme: the lasting significance of the road of the October Revolution. 79 parties and organizations attended the seminar, while some 50 others expressed their interest and solidarity.
Bert De Belder
Standing out at this year's seminar was the video-taped intervention by Comrade Hysni Milloshi, founder of the now proscribed Communist Party of Albania, as well as the presence of four Marxist-Leninist parties from the former Soviet Union: the Russian Communist Workers' Party, the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, Working Russia/the United Party of Soviet Communists -represented by Viktor Anpilov - and the Russian Workers' and Peasants' Party. The Cuban Communist Party was represented by Manuel Menéndez, Director of the theoretical journal Cuba Socialista.
Based on their current experience, the four Russian comrades stressed that the class struggle will not wait and that we should not only talk but above all act together. Thus the seminar went beyond theoretical discussions and proceeded to draft resolutions of solidarity with Cuba, the Communist Party of Albania and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which were then submitted to the participants for signing. In the aftermath of the seminar, two concrete support campaigns have been launched by Marxist-Leninist parties from several countries: one for the children who are threatened by flood-induced famine in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and one for material assistance to the Communist Party of Albania.

A revolutionary counter-offensive

Today the problem of the unification of the communist parties and organisations poses itself in a particular context. The complete restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe has finally and conclusively demonstrated that the road of revisionism, initiated by Krushchev, is the path promoted by the internal and international bourgeoisie. Their sole objective was to liquidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist system.
In the countries dominated by the three centres of imperialism, globalization and internationalization have resulted in intensified oppression and exploitation. The situation of the working class and the toiling masses in the formerly socialist countries and in the countries under domination has been deteriorating rapidly. The workers in the imperialist world itself have not been spared either. The capitalist forces of the entire world are waging a concerted offensive against the international working class.
The crisis of the world capitalist system pushes the popular masses to the Left. But the bourgeoisie uses social-democracy, revisionism and Trotskyism to confuse and mislead the people as well as certain anti-imperialist and anticapitalist forces. A concerted response by the Marxist-Leninists has become an urgent necessity.

Progress towards more unity

For four years, from 1992 to 1995, the participants in the International Communist Seminar have been discussing the road to follow in order to realize the unification of the International Communist Movement. These discussions have resulted in a set of proposals (see pages 14 and 15) based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism, proletarian internationalism and the struggle against revisionism. They contain ideological and political positions that together form a minimum common framework on the basis of which the process of unification of the world's communists can be initiated.
At this year's International Communist Seminar, there was a better understanding that parties who used to belong to tendencies that supported either Mao Zedong or Brezhnev, either Che Guevara or Enver Hoxha, can arrive at a higher level of unity using this approach. For example, the resolution to support the Communist Party of Albania has already been signed by 43 parties, several of whom used to be known as pro-Soviet Union, pro-China or pro-Cuba. As Comrade Milloshi remarked: "Cooperation in common actions will give birth to the only international force that can defend the interests of the revolution and of world socialism."

The language of proletarian internationalism

For communists, language should never be a barrier to communication and common action. That is why we exert efforts to have many of our and other communists' documents translated into several languages. For this important job we can currently count on collaborators in Canada, Spain, Great Britain, France and the Netherlands. But we need many more translators, editors and proof-readers. Translation work is mainly French-English, French-Spanish and Russian-French, but other languages or combinations may also prove useful. We have one very particular request: translators from Albanian!
Vielen Dank - Merci beaucoup - Muchas gracias - Muito obrigado - Maraming salamat!
But it is striking that 20 years after the 5th congress of the WPB in 1995, on which the book of Ludo Martens, "Another view on Stalin" was presented as one of the documents "on which existed a broad unity and consensus after large discussions in the WPB”, Peter Mertens (PVDA/PTB/WPB) in KNACK, 22 feb. 2015, could declare: "We will condemn the crimes of Stalin on our Ninth Congres" .... and he was elected as president of the WPB with 94% on that Ninth Congress in 2015!

So NONE of the party-members out of the period of the Fourth Congress in 1991 (which resulted in the book"URSS, the velvet contra-revolution") AND the 5th Congress in 1995, OPPOSED the “new” ideological and political line of the WPB..... I couldn't ..., being expelled in 2005......
This is in fact an indirect critic on those “old” WPB-cadres who now (in 2016) “asked” 'face-book-friendship” with me ...... but never “dare” to react on (or to criticise, or to oppose...) my analysis of the development of revisionism in the WPB.... and never were “alarmed” on my expulsion in 2005....   At least one “old” WPB-cadre/“new” FB-friend is COMPLICE to my expulsion....

1http://solidnet.org/18th-imcwp/18-imcwp-appeal-of-the-18th-international-meeting-of-communist-and-workers-parties-en, 18 IMCWP, Appeal of the 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties [En], Tuesday, 15 November 2016 16:38. The SolidNet Team
2http://www.solidnet.org/belgium-workers-party-of-belgium/18-imcwp-contribution-of-wp-of-belgium-en, 18 IMCWP, Contribution of WP of Belgium [En] - Thursday, 03 November 2016 15:17 Contribution of WP of Belgium [En]
3Chapter Two FORMATION OF THE RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY. APPEARANCE OF THE BOLSHEVIK AND THE MENSHEVIK GROUPS WITHIN THE PARTY: - 2. Lenin’s Plan for the Building of a Marxist Party. Opportunism of the “Economists.” Iskra’s Fight for Lenin’s Plan. Lenin’s Book What Is To Be Done? Ideological Foundations of the Marxist Party”. Out “HISTORY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION ( BOLSHEVIKS ) Short Course. EDITED BY A COMMISSION OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE C.P.S.U. (B.) AUTHORIZED BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE C.P.S.U. (B.) INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHERS , NEW YORK Copyright, I 9 3 9, by INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHERS CO., INC. Printed in the U. S. A. From Marx to Mao ML © Digital Reprints 2006.
4 See Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. II, p. 410.
5http://solidnet.org/greece-communist-party-of-greece/18-imcwp-contribution-of-cp-of-greece-en-ru-es-ar, 18 IMCWP, Contribution of CP of Greece [En, Ru, Es, Ar, Fr, Sq] - Friday, 28 October 2016 12:46 Communist Party of Greece E-mail Print PDF
6http://solidnet.org/hungary-hungarian-workers-party/18-imcwp-contribution-of-hungarian-wp-en, 18 IMCWP, Contribution of Hungarian WP [En] - Friday, 28 October 2016 12:46 Hungarian Workers' Party E-mail Print PDF
7http://solidnet.org/russia-russian-communist-workers-party-cpsu/18-imcwp-contibution-of-russian-cwp-en-ru-es-ar, 18 IMCWP, Contibution of Russian CWP [En, Ru, Es, Ar]. Friday, 28 October 2016 12:34 Russian Communist Workers' Party - CPSU E-mail Print PDF. Contibution of Russian CWP [En, Ru, Es, Ar]
Mertens vs Martens - 21.03.2016

10http://www.solidnet.org/germany-german-communist-party/18-imcwp-contribution-of-german-cp-en, 18 IMCWP, Contribution of German CP [En] Wednesday, 09 November 2016 22:08 German Communist Party Contribution of German CP [En]

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